Saving money is a goal for many families, and yet it can be difficult to do when you feel like you’ve already cut your spending. If you want to save, you need to be creative and consistent.
At Addition Financial, one of the most common things our members ask about is ways to save money.
The good news is that there are lots of ways to save money that you may not have considered. Here are six unique money-saving techniques.
#1: Keep a Spending Log
One of the biggest barriers to saving money is the spending we do without thinking about it. Over time, the money you spend on cups of coffee and impulse purchases can add up.
You can track your spending either by carrying a small notebook with you or keeping a note on your phone. Any time you buy something that’s not a required expense, make a note of it and be sure to include the amount.
If you track for a week, you may be surprised by how much you spend without thinking about it. Continuing to keep track can help you be more mindful of what you spend.
#2: Round Up Your Purchases
We all spend money, and if you want to save, one of the best ways to do it is to round up your purchases to the nearest dollar and save the difference.
If you buy in cash, simply put your change into your purse or wallet. When you get home, transfer the coins to a jar. The trick is not to use coins that are in your purse to pay for additional purchases. Always pay with whole dollars and save the change.
#3: Sell Unwanted Items
The chances are good that when you look around your home, you see belongings that you simply don’t use anymore. These may include:
- Clothing items that no longer fit or that you simply don’t like
- Books that you’ve read and know you won’t read again
- DVDs or Blu-Rays that you bought on a whim and didn’t like
- Household items that you no longer need
Instead of living with the clutter, why not sell some of those items and put the money in your savings account? You could have a yard sale or, if you prefer, sell the items on eBay or Craig’s List. If you decide to sell online, make sure that you charge enough to make the work of packing the items up and shipping them worthwhile.
#4: Bring Your Lunch from Home
A lot of people who work during the day get in the habit of buying lunch instead of bringing it. It might not seem like you’re spending a lot, but daily lunches out can add up quickly and make a real dent in your income.
Instead of buying lunch, try bringing it from home instead. Even buying a frozen meal or a prepared item at the supermarket can be less expensive than eating out. To make it easy, you might even consider cooking a bit extra for dinner and bringing your leftovers for lunch.
#5: Visit Your Local Library
Libraries are terrific resources and frequenting your local library can help you save money on things like video rentals and streaming.
Many libraries have systems where you can borrow anything from any location in a given county. Instead of renting a video from Red Box or another service, try reserving the movies and television shows you want to see from the library. You may sometimes need to wait a bit to see them, but you’ll be able to watch them all for free.
#6: Buy Used Items
There are some things that you’ll always want to buy new, but you can save a lot of money if you choose used items when it makes sense to do so. Here are some examples:
- Find a bookstore that sells used books. If you’re careful, you can find used books in like-new condition for a fraction of the cost of a new book. Many used bookstores will also buy books and offer cash or store credit in return.
- Find a thrift store and visit it regularly. Even if you don’t want to buy used clothing, it’s worth checking out a thrift store for accessories and other items. Some thrift stores have designer clothing for far less than you would pay at a department store.
- Look on Craig’s List and Freecycle for used items.
The trick with buying used items is that you should only buy items in good condition that you know you’ll use.
There are lots of ways to save money in 2022, and you can start with the six items we’ve mentioned here. To learn how Addition Financial’s savings accounts can help you save money, please click here now.